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OTHER ITA SITES:
Ozzy versus Amy: The Prince of Darkness verses the Evil Princess of the Undead
Sometimes I wonder if Phoenix is considered the back end of concert dates. So many acts tend to take their Arizona Fans for granted or just bypass us when they have to cancel or reschedule another date. Others seem to forget that we tend to turn out in big numbers for almost any event. Ozzy obviously forgot or just didn�t bleeping care.
Despite a monstrous crowd and dollars flying across the concession tables faster than bats out of hell, Ozzy managed to snub his Arizona Fans by failing to appear at the Phoenix Ozzfest event this past summer. And that�s ironic since Phoenix hosted one of the two very first Ozzfest events in 1996. The other was held in Los Angeles. Maybe we just weren�t worthy of the Master of Metal this year? Not everyone was willing to pay one to three hundred dollars for a ticket and sacrifice their firstborn to Ozzy.
If you�re going to skip out on fans, at least have the decency to record a video welcome message or greeting. There were lots of big screens around, so everyone would have seen it. If Ozzy had lost his voice or didn�t feel well enough to speak, he could have offered a middle finger salute or bitten the head off one of the Backstreet Boys. If even that was too much to ask, the Prince of Darkness could have had his dogs come and crap all over the stage or asked Sharon to open the event by throwing some frozen poultry at the first few fans to arrive. If all else failed, his kids could have come and set fire to piles of N Sync and Snoop Dog CDs to get everyone in the mood for the day�s events.
Fortunately, there are some major acts out there that really care about the fans in this town and know how to show it. Mick Jaeger had some throat problems, so The Stones recently cancelled a few dates in the USA. Phoenix was not one of them. AFI, the CHILI PEPPERS, TAKING BACK SUNDAY and GWAR really rocked the Valley of the Sun over the summer. But my favorite was Evanescence.
I�ll be the first to admit that I hadn�t been up to date on all things Evanescence until my wife brought the Band to my attention several months ago. After I started listening to their music, I was glad she did. It�s been some time since I heard anything that was melodic and unique. While fans might argue otherwise, most artists that manage to get signed these days seem like clones of struggling late eighties alternative music bands or the now infamous and always whiney sounds of the nineties.
I like music that�s different and hate to admit it, but the last concert that I thought was refreshingly distinctive was a Buster Poindexter and the Banshees of Blue show in the early nineties. It was a smaller venue and the music was hot! Being from New York City, I guess I�m a bit jaded. I had the opportunity to be exposed to a constant flow of live music in the form of big acts, street bands and everything in between before relocating to Arizona. On the flipside, it also means that I hold performers to a higher standard and know great music when I hear it. That�s how I felt when attended the Evanescence Concert at the Celebrity Theater last week.
After reading up on Amy Lee and the various Evanescence personnel changes for a couple of weeks before the big night, I was ready for the concert. We bought our tickets as soon as they went on sale. To be honest, they were a bargain for a concert held at the Celebrity Theater. That venue is as intimate as you can get without renting the local high school gym and using only half the space. One would expect to shell out the usual hundred bucks or more for being almost within arms reach of a class act like Evanescence, but we paid somewhere in the thirty to forty dollar range.
Listening to Revelation Theory open the show and hearing Amy Lee belt out her first couple of songs with Evanescence, I really felt guilty for paying so little to see so much talent in such an intimate setting. To make up for it, I tried to buy my wife and kids some band tees. By the time we got up to the front of a very long line, the good sizes were gone. I bought some anyway because I�ve been trying to lose a few pounds lately. If I had any doubts about the band, it had nothing to do with their music or performance. I just wondered if they were getting their fair share?
Reading some of the comments attributed to her by various websites and blogs, I understood that there probably would not be any Amy Lee perfume, designer clothes, signature make up lines or Evanescence action figures available anywhere in the near future. However, whether she is or isn�t a material girl, Amy has to know that she must have been personally responsible for the sudden increase in sales of things like dark eyeliner, black and white knee length socks and long black dresses. Oops, I forgot, and about a billion dollars worth of black hair dye.
It�s not unusual to find artists who are unaware of their actual popularity or real earning potential. After all, they are Artists, not financiers. I got the distinct impression that the members of Evanescence were legitimately surprised by the numbers of fans that showed up for the sold-out event and the many more who wanted tickets and couldn�t get in.
Amy offered an apology for the smaller venue, but all of us really enjoyed the intimate atmosphere. However, here�s a bit of advice from the older and wiser to the lovely and immensely talented Miss Lee and her musical partners: Next time charge extra for the intimacy, find more stuff to sell and return those calls from the big management agencies. Even the �evil princess of the undead� can always use a few extra zeros behind a nice large number in her bank account. Amy and the band certainly earn it!
Oh, yea, I almost forgot. Ozzy, burn in Hell!
*Amy Lee has a Website called Out of the Shadows that is helping to educate people about Epilepsy and make a difference in the lives of Epileptics. Please visit www.outoftheshadows.com
- Bill Knell
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